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Monthly Archives: November 2012

5 ways to prepare your child for divorce

More and more parents are faced with the complex issue of preparing their children for divorce.  It’s important for you to realize that thousands of parents face this challenge each year.  How you break the news depends on your child’s personality, age and the various circumstances that led to your divorce.

1.  Kids love routine.  Both parents should try their hardest to minimize disruptions to the daily routine.  By doing this, your children will feel more stable during this difficult time.  This can include who picks up your child from school, daycare and other activities; family traditions; going to church; and anything else that is done on a regular basis.

2. Do not speak negatively of the other parent in front of your child. This includes your family, friends, co-workers, etc.  If you need to vent your frustrations, save it for when you’re alone or in therapy.

3. Your children should not hear heated discussions, arguments or any legal talk.  These are very adult conversations that do not benefit your children in any way.  We understand it’s difficult to stop an argument in the heat of the moment but remember, you don’t want your children to remember these moments. Stop the discussion and schedule a time to reconvene.

4.  Each parent should continue to have a strong presence within the children’s lives.  Even if one parent has moved out of the house, he or she must make efforts to regularly see the child. Children tend to blame themselves and parents need to reinforce that this has nothing to do with them.

5.  Once you are certain the divorce is moving ahead, both parents should be present to tell the children. Keep feelings of blame, anger and guilt out of the equation. If necessary, practice this conversation to keep the emotions under bay.  The overall message that needs to come through is that your children are not at fault in any way.  The divorce is between mom and dad, not the child.  It’s vital your children hear this message.

When it comes to preparing your children for divorce, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method.  Each child will react differently based on their disposition, age and temperament.  The initial reaction will most likely include some degree of sadness but most children can come out of it with a clear understanding of how to cope with stress, understand family dynamics and be stronger for it.  We hope the above five tips are useful for you.

Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Written by Samantha Collier

Samantha Collier, is the Chief Content Manager at SHIFT Digital Media and a writer/contributor at My Turn Your Turn. She’s an avid blogger with a passion for social media for law firms. Samantha grew up in a blended family and enjoys passing on her struggles and insights to the My Turn Your Turn community. You can find her on Twitter at @samtaracollier.

 

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Divorce, Parenting

 

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Pictures are a snapshot of your child’s life

As a single mom of one child I admit I went a little picture crazy with my daughter when she was growing up. I have a picture of every “first” that she ever did, first time sitting up, first steps,first words, first night in her own bed , first boo-boo, first day on the bus, first dance, first car, first, first, first…

She is married now and has a baby of her own so I decided to pass the pictures on to her, all 14 albums, and as I did it made me think about my childhood. My mother didn’t have many pictures of me growing up. I was the second child and my sister Jackie was the first. Of course there are tons of pictures of Jackie but only about 4 of me from birth to age 9. My younger siblings also have very few photos. To make matters worse, my mom lost my baby book. It doesn’t upset me now but it did make me feel a little less “special” growing up.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself but I do want to let you know that it does make an impact on a child to have so much of their past missing. I feel it can also contribute to sibling rivalry. In this day and age with computers,  digital cameras and smartphones it is inexcusable for moms and dads not to keep pictures of all of their children, not just the first. If you’re a first time mom or dad, remember that when you are snapping 100 poses of every new activity, you may have a second child and you want to be sure to do the same for that child and other future children as well. It’s only fair.

Consider this:

1. Keep doubles of everything and try to provide your child’s co-parent and extended family with copies. Pictures are a great way to help the other parent stay in touch and feel like they’re not missing out on important memories.You can send pictures by phone or email too.

2. Use online services to build baby books, photo albums, scrapbooks and photo frames bring down the cost of keeping up-to-date albums and pictures of each of your children.

Here are a couple sites to help save pictures of your children:
https://m.tweekaboo.com/ins/free-online-baby-book?
http://www.mixbook.com/

3. Buy your children a camera and let them document their own memories.Plan a special day where you both take photos. Kids love to take pictures and it helps them remember those special days spent with you.

What do you use to create photo memories of your children?

Thank you,

Tracy L Taylor

Co-Written by: Erika Rossi-Raia

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 

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Austin Family Game Night

We Austins are a game playin’ bunch.  We like to play Monopoly, Chess, various card games, Charades and we aren’t even averse to creating our own games from time to time.  Games can be a great way for dads, specifically weekend dads, to connect with his children and to really get into their world.  Of course, the games played have to be age appropriate.  Dad wouldn’t want to throw some heavy Monopoly at a 4 year old.  Playing games together helps break any ice that might be there and can create memories that last.  You will be an old man in the rocking chair on the porch when your, now adult, son or daughter, says “Dad, remember that time you_________ when we played such and such game…those were good times.”

If you are separated or divorced, game playing takes on an even more significant role.  It gives dads with limited time with the kids, a chance to laugh and show his happier side, a side that they may not have seen.  Overall, game playing gives dad a chance to teach his children the importance of rules, healthy competition and fair play.  Also, separated or divorced dads are often on a VERY fixed income so game night with the kids is good, cheap fun.

I want to relate an incident we had here at the “Austin Family Compound” recently involving game night.  One TV show we indulge in, as a family, is “Shark Tank”.  This is a program on Friday nights in which various entrepreneurs try to sell their product/idea to a panel of “sharks” i.e. investors.  For instance…”Hello, I invented this handy jar opener.  I have XXXXX amount in sales and I’m asking for $50,000 in exchange for XXXXX% of my company.”  Then the “sharks” proceed to ask questions and either get excited and counter offer or they totally pick apart the business and send them home with nothing.  It’s a very entertaining and enlightening show as it demonstrates how business works and the creative process involved.

One night, last week, my 13 year old asked if we could play a home version of “Shark Tank”.  I asked how that might work and she proceeded to act out a scenario with her as the entrepreneur and our family as “sharks”.  She came up with her own product, determined what she wanted and began to sell us on the idea.  We asked questions and in the end, she got a deal from my 9 year old!  No money is actually exchanged just the fun of coming up with and creating a fake product and getting the experience of selling it!

Now we have taken the idea of “Shark Tank” the home version a step further and gotten more organized.  We now have 3 X 5 cards with various categories printed on them….”shoes”, “bikes”, “entertainment”, “cooking” etc.etc..  Now, what we do is have the entrepreneur pick a random card and come up with a business/invention pertaining to that category on the card.  They then proceed to try to sell us on their idea!  This was totally my kid’s idea but now I can see the benefit it will have and IS having on them.  They get the experience of talking in front of a group, pitching an idea, learning to accept criticism and/or rejection with grace and ultimately have a ton of fun and laughs doing it!!!

Family game night can be a fun, exciting, learning experience whether you’re a single dad with limited time to make an impact on your children or an intact family.  Turn off the TV, log off the computer, pop some popcorn and get to know each other over a game either purchased at a store or invented!

Mike Austin is the host of “Radio Dad with Mike Austin” a daily, nationwide, radio feature about dads and all things dadly.  Mike is the dad of 6 children ages 9 to 21.   Find him at www.radiodad.com

 

 

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 

 

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